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Dravid to keep in first ODI

January 08, 2004 15:34 IST

India captain Sourav Ganguly urged his team to carry the good form of the Test series to the one-day tri-series, beginning on Friday, and make up for recent poor performances against Australia, whom they run into in the opening match of the tournament, which also involves Zimbabwe.

"We were beaten by them in the World Cup, we lost to them in the triangular at home last year. But that is past and we need to carry on the good work of Test series," Ganguly said on the eve of the day-night match in Melbourne.

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The captain was candid about two areas wicket-keeping and opening, where speculation was rife, but did not commit himself on the playing eleven he would field tomorrow.

"Rahul Dravid will keep wickets and Virender Sehwag will open the innings with Sachin [Tendulkar]," said Ganguly, dismissing talk that Parthiv Patel would play behind the stumps and he would open the batting.

But he refrained from commenting whether he would opt for two spinners in tomorrow's match.

"It depends on what kind of track we see tomorrow. If we find grass, we would not think about the two-spinner option."

Asked about the possibility of including Rohan Gavaskar, son of the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, for the match, he said he is "in contention like the 15 others are for the game".

Rohan, who was drafted into the one-day squad after Mohammad Kaif was ruled out because of an injury, is attracting a lot of media attention in Melbourne.

"He [Rohan] plays from the same state side as me and has handled the pressure [of being the son of a legend] well. He knows he cannot be a Sunil Gavaskar. He knows the pressure is going to be on him, but he wants to lead his normal life and go out and enjoy himself," Ganguly said.

"He knows there is big difference between state and international cricket and he wants to improve. He is a good player who has proved himself in any opportunity he has got touring England and Sri Lanka with youth or A sides," he said, adding "he is a far more attacking player than his dad and bats left-handed. If he does well he could go places."

Ganguly expressed unhappiness with the itinerary.

"The one-day series is too close. After the big final day [fourth Test] at Sydney, we arrived here [Melbourne] yesterday. Okay we knew it from before that we would play a one-day game in two days' time...But there are a lot of young guys around and we would be okay," said the skipper.

He took comfort from the fact it is easier to adjust from Test to one-day cricket.

"It is easier to adjust from Test to one-day than the other way round. In any case, I am pinning my hope on all 16 to do well and that alone would help us win."


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